Study Shows Building Prisons Did Not Prevent Repeat Crimes
(New York Times link--you know the drill)
The rate at which inmates released from state prisons commit new crimes rose from 1983 to 1994, a time when the number of people behind bars doubled, according to a Justice Department study released yesterday.
The report found that 67 percent of inmates released from state prisons in 1994 committed at least one serious new crime within three years. That is 5 percent higher than among inmates released in 1983.
Criminologists generally agree that the prison-building binge of the last 25 years, in which the number of Americans incarcerated quadrupled to almost two million, has helped reduce the crime rate simply by keeping criminals off the streets. There has been more debate about whether longer sentences and the increase in the number of prisoners have also helped to deter people from committing crimes. The new report, some crime experts say, suggests that the answer is no. (More inside)
posted by y2karl
on Jun 2, 2002 -
It's no surprise that the Sept 11 Compensation Fund will cover gay partners of victims
. [nytimes link] It's easy to be generous: Of the 2,800-plus who died, the Fund has found only "22 known gay surviving partners." Never mind that the Windows on the World
waiters alone should have made that number four times higher, based on the "one in ten" formula for estimating the size of a gay population, one would expect almost 300 gay victims on Sept 11. Of course, not all the gay victims would necessarily be uncloseted or have a life partner, but still -- only 22? No wonder the fund is so generous to cut checks for this tiny minority. But does this unintended survey suggest NYC may not be as queer as everyone thinks? In any case, why were so few of gays employed at the WTC?
posted by jellybuzz
on May 30, 2002 -
The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell
(NY Times link) About two months ago, a new book about women putting careers before babies, and risking going childless, got a lot of publicity and was expected to be a huge seller. Wrong. Did it scare women? Did it sadden women? Was the coverage unfair (most of it highlighted the 'infertility after late 30's' angle, instead of balancing/choosing between career and family)? Or, did the massive publicity subvert sales by summing up the story and findings?
posted by msacheson
on May 20, 2002 -
From a NYT piece
on the horrifying incompetence of NY mental homes:
On a Thursday in June 2000, Mr. Ridges returned from his job and went to his room. He encountered Mr. Chapman and the two apparently argued over rap music, the police said. Mr. Chapman pulled out a brown and gold folding knife. He lunged, stabbing Mr. Ridges more than 20 times in the neck, sternum and arm.
"Me and Greg Ridges didn't get along," Mr. Chapman told the detectives who arrested him.
When Mrs. Ridges did not receive her customary phone call from her son that day, she called the home. An employee told her everything was fine. Wary, Mrs. Ridges went to the home that night, and no one would let her in. Several hours later, police officers showed up at her apartment and told her what had happened.
I get sick of all the NYT pieces on here too, but, damn it, this is just haunting, a long visit in a demented underworld of society that most of us try to ignore. Well worth reading in its (extensive) entirety.
posted by gsteff
on Apr 30, 2002 -
Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?
Challenging NYTimes article on the suicide of Elizabeth Shin, an over-acheiving college student. With the increasing focus on student achievement from earlier and earlier ages, it's clear that children can be deeply affected. How do we, as a society, raise children to standards that we expect without pressure-cooking them to damage or worse?
posted by gen
on Apr 27, 2002 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
, the sparrow's deadliest enemy is farmers' haphazard and extravagant use of pesticides. They're disappearing from the countryside. Sometimes they "reappear on sticks, skewered and roasted or fried." Yum-yum.
posted by phartizan
on Apr 10, 2002 -
The Pulitzer Prizes 2002.
The New York Times gets 7; Richard Russo's "Empire Falls" gets Best Fiction; and Best On-Screen Kiss goes to Britney Spears and the guy from "Crossroads" because it made jurists William Safire and Henry Louis Gates Jr. "all teary-eyed."
posted by adrober
on Apr 8, 2002 -
Has the web become boring?
(NYT link, registration required) With the demise of the Cool Site of the Day
and the transition of MetaFilter to NewsFilter, the question is posed: Where have all the interesting sites gone? Is this the end of the Web as we know it? (...And do you feel fine?)
posted by dogmatic
on Mar 27, 2002 -
NYT is realizing
that computer games can be relevent, and not just a silly fad that only kids and the uneducated can enjoy. In this review (albeit very
belated), Thursday's 'Circuits' section reviews both Operation Flashpoint
, the widely acclaimed, disturbingly realistic combat simulation, and Halo, the shooter du jour on the XBox.
posted by GriffX
on Mar 22, 2002 -
The mention of Benedict Arnold was inadvertent.
Just caught a fun piece on NPR about 'Kill Duck Before Serving
', a collection of notable corrections printed in The New York Times. Miscaptioned photos, famously bad journalist math (how
many bras?), and transcription gaffes ('veteran,' not 'Bedouin'). Great stuff, whether you love or hate the 'paper of record.' One gem: "A caption in Business Day with an article about the National Bank of Kuwait mistranslated the Arabic script of the bank symbol. It says, 'National Bank of Kuwait' [not 'There is no god but Allah']." The Times regrets the error.
posted by pzarquon
on Mar 8, 2002 -
The New York Times finally justified asking for my email address: you can specify a list of words and phrases and have the Times email you
whenever an article containing one of them appears. (My list: 'aphex, autechre, squarepusher, "warp records"')
posted by lbergstr
on Mar 7, 2002 -
Shoplifters Of The World, Unite And Take Over!
An interesting NYT article(reg.req.
)says stealing from restaurants is increasing. But it's still only 3% of tableware costs and allegedly doesn't contribute to higher prices. I confess I often lift the odd item from hotel rooms. Not just as "souvenirs" - that would be hypocritical. As booty
. So, what ethical constraints and liberties do MetaFilterians think should be taken into consideration when stealing? Does it matter whom you're stealing from and how much money you've previously spent on them? And, for the more immoral fellow members, what are the best strategies for liberating certain objects?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 28, 2002 -
NY Times on female cruelty (subscription req'd)
This is an insightful examination of cruelty by girls struggling for power in complex Middle School social hierarchies. Many points made about "girls" here also apply to young adult women -- at least the ones I know. In our tabloidized, materialistic culture, might adult women abandon such behavior someday?
Link posted by Voyageman on a discussion page yesterday. Thank you Voyageman.
posted by mcgraw
on Feb 26, 2002 -
Is the New York Times rewriting history?
This link claims (and an archives search backs up) that the Paper of Record deleted a bin Laden-related story published two days before 9/11, and now redirects searchers to a story written on 9/12. The story isn't damning, but it does point out how much we knew about him before the event. Is it bad journalism? Bad politics? Extra points awarded for Orwell quotes.
posted by chino
on Feb 15, 2002 -
this nytimes article
about okwui enwezor, the first non-european to head documenta (kind of like the olympics for art, but unfortunately always held in the town of kassel, germany) mentions an "anonymous and scandal-spreading e- mail message" which was sent to artworld honchos. in light of the fact that his curatorial style has a lot of artists and critics justifiably perturbed, i wonder what's in the email. of course i wonder what's in the email because it might be juicy, but i attempt to justify my curiousity to myself and to you.
posted by subpixel
on Feb 12, 2002 -
The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers.
What are they hiding? Executive order blocking Presidential papers, refusing to turn over Energy Taskforce member list, and now this! There must be something to hide. But what?!?!?
posted by bas67
on Feb 11, 2002 -
NYT Magazine's Lauren Slater on Self-Esteem Last year alone there were three withering studies of self-esteem released in the United States, all of which had the same central message: people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem and feeling bad about yourself is not the cause of our country's biggest, most expensive social problems. The research is original and compelling and lays the groundwork for a new, important kind of narrative about what makes life worth living -- if we choose to listen, which might be hard. One of this country's most central tenets, after all, is the pursuit of happiness, which has been strangely joined to the pursuit of self-worth.
Great, long article on the change in perspective on self-esteem. Do you question yourself? How does your self-esteem impact yourself or others around you? Is high self-esteem importatnt to you? What if your high self-esteem could negatively affect others around you?
posted by gen
on Feb 5, 2002 -
Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit!
Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines
they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.
) How would you
spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 22, 2002 -
"Kill duck before cooking"
and other chortle-worthy corrections from The New York Times. If newspapers were smart, they'd recognize that their corrections columns are a potential gold mine in terms of entertainment value, and promote them accordingly. But, alas, newspapers are not smart. (NY Times link, naturally, so the usual warnings apply.)
posted by nathanstack
on Jan 21, 2002 -
"We're fighting our own terrorist war,"
says Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. David Rocci conters: "There's a huge difference in what people think copyright is and what the corporations think copyright is. I'm not so sure it's morally wrong for someone to go [see] 'Lord of the Rings' in the theater two or three times and then download it because they like it." (NYT link)
posted by muckster
on Jan 17, 2002 -
has been making good music for so long that it was great finally to see his picture in the NY Times. Not a very informative article, but it's a small victory for Fugazi
fans everywhere. "We're not the first, hope we're not the last..." (Requires log-in)
posted by BitterOldPunk
on Jan 10, 2002 -
Does genius exist?
According to commonplace descriptions, a genius creates artworks beyond the abilities of the merely talented. A genius's achievements are uninfluenced by vagaries of taste and marketplace; in fact, a genius may be shunned at first and only later acclaimed.
But genius has been far more flexible a concept than its critics recognize; it is less a reflection of a rigid ideology than an attempt to characterize an infinitely variable phenomenon.
, registration required]
posted by Blake
on Jan 6, 2002 -
"But at some point along the path to discovery, the reader confronts his or her reading mortality
. There's only so much time. And there are so many great books." I must come to grips with this myself, even as I anxiously await the inaugural book club
discussion. I must admit, though, that people like this
[NYT link] make me feel my own "reading mortality" more acutely. (I wish
I could read that much so quickly...)
posted by arco
on Dec 25, 2001 -
Ironic Spam article
Does anyone find it ironic that a NY Times article on the horrors of spam is accompanied by one of those ads that automatically plays annoying music and requires you to find and then click on the off switch every time the page loads?
posted by Poagao
on Dec 23, 2001 -
What do Greenspan, Enron and the number 11 all have in common?
Economist and NYT colimnist Paul Krugman notes with not too much irony that "Just one month ago the James A. Baker III Institute presented Alan Greenspan with its Enron Prize
." (a big wince over regretable timing, and the emphasis is mine)
No big conspiracy here, but the general thrust of Krugman's column
(NYT link) is that somethings got to give if things are to again get real (good). Lots of interesting under-reported economic factoids in the article make for enlightening reading.
posted by BentPenguin
on Dec 14, 2001 -
Nigger. A Black Author Hurls That Word as a Challenge. Revulsion began with the staff of his publisher over the new book by Randall Kennedy.
Revulsion? Proving the book's point then...
posted by hellinskira
on Dec 3, 2001 -
Dot-Com Is Dot-Gone, and the Dream With It
A New York Times article on the dot-com-crash.
"Each day, the old idols seem to fade further into the dim past, barely recollected in a country where the languages of "revolution" and "warfare" are no longer just business metaphors. This is the next step after the bursting of the dot-com economic bubble — the bursting of the cultural bubble, the end of the nerd as a crossover hit, of the I.P.O. zillionaire as role model to college students."
I agree that our country is in the beginning of a cultural revolution; starting with the dot-com crash last year and accelerating with 911. Am I alone or does anyone agree?
posted by Oxydude
on Nov 25, 2001 -
Gaza Diary by Chris Hedges
It's generally not the best idea to post links about the Palestine/Israel conflict, as each day's news can be debated ad infitum by various sides. However this Gaza Diary is a stunning personal look into the ravages of war and occupation. Written by the New York Times Mideast
Bureau Chief, and published in Harper's in October, it's a meditative reflection on the ways the human spirit can be twisted by conflict, and how a reporter (even a seasoned one) responds to the demons of war. Well worth your time.
posted by cell divide
on Nov 16, 2001 -
Seeing as Camp David has now taken on new importance
for President Bush [NYTimes link], now might be a fun time to take a tour
(sort-of) of the highly secretive
compound. Or perhaps you would like a more detailed history
of the Presidential retreat, or even some personal stories
as told by people "in the know." (Though for the life of me I can't find more info on the person who developed these sites.)
posted by arco
on Nov 5, 2001 -
Naipul thinks the causes of Sept. 11 are religious, not American foreign policy. (NYT)
"There is a passage in one of the Conrad short stories of the East Indies where the savage finds himself with his hands bare in the world, and he lets out a howl of anger. I think that, in its essence, what is happening.The world is getting more and more out of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world gets out of reach."
posted by semmi
on Oct 27, 2001 -